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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

xvi                   THE CHURCH OF S. THEODORE                  247
capitals re-used. Throughout the building are traces of stones from some older building recut 'or adapted to the present church. Between the columns is a breastwork of carved marble slabs similar in style to those seen in S. Mark's and in S. Fosca, Torcello.1 The upper part of the fagade does not correspond to the composition below it, but follows the divisions of the internal vaulting. It is in five circular-arched bays, each containing an arched window. The infilling is of brick in various patterns. The cornice looks Turkish. While the masonry of the lower portion of the arcade is in alternate courses of one stone and two bricks, that of the upper portion has alternate courses of one stone and three bricks* Moreover, while the design of the upper portion is determined by the vaulting of the narthex, the lower portion takes a more independent line. These differences may indicate different periods of construction, but we find a similar type of design in other Byzantine buildings, as, for example, in the walls of the palace of the Porphyrogenitus, where the different stories are distinct in design, and do not closely correspond to one another. The outer narthex of S. Theodore may have been built entirely at one time, or its upper story, vaults, and domes may have been added to an already existing lower story. But in any case, notwithstanding all possible adverse criticism, the total effect produced by the fa$ade is pleasing. It presents a noteworthy and successful attempt to relieve the ordinary plainness and heaviness of a Byzantine church exterior, and to give that exterior some grace and beauty. The. effect is the more impressive because the narthex is raised considerably above the level of the ground and reached by a flight of steps. c Taking it altogether,' says Fergusson,2 cit is perhaps the most complete and elegant church of its class now known to exist in or near the capital, and many of its details are of great beauty and perfection/
The esonarthex is in three bays covered with barrel vaults, and terminates at both ends in a shallow niche. The outer arches spring from square buttresses. From
1 Pulgher, Les Anciennes J&glises de C.P. p. 23. 2 History of Architecture, i. 458,